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OBU Earns Top Rankings for 27th Straight Year from U.S. News & World Report

September 10, 2018

For the 27th consecutive year, U.S. News and World Report ranked Oklahoma Baptist University as one of the top colleges in numerous categories. OBU ranked highly on numerous lists, including, “The Overall Best Regional Colleges of the West,” “The Foreign Student Factor,” “2019 Best Colleges for Veterans,” “A Strong Commitment to Undergraduate Teaching,” “Student Debt Load at Graduation-West,” and “Best Value Schools in the Western U.S.”

U.S. News and World Report released the rankings Sept. 10. They are now available online and will likewise be published in the upcoming “Best Colleges 2019” guidebook.

OBU President Dr. David W. Whitlock is pleased for the University to once again be recognized nationally by U.S. News.

“The U.S. News and World Report rankings validate the efforts of OBU’s world-class faculty, students and staff,” he said. “We are pleased to be ranked on six lists, demonstrating our commitment to academic excellence, our affordability and low debt burden for graduates, our inclusiveness of international students and veterans as well as our unparalleled commitment to teaching. It is a privilege to serve alongside so many wonderful colleagues and to serve the student body of Oklahoma Baptist University as we achieve great things together and deliver a transformational higher education experience.”

In the Best Regional Colleges of the West, OBU ranked seventh out of the 15-state region, maintaining its spot as the highest-ranking Oklahoma institution on the list for 25 consecutive years. This score is based off of many different factors, including retention rate, peer-assessment, graduation rate, age of students, student to faculty ratio, and SAT/ACT scores.

OBU ranked ninth in the Western region on the list, “The Foreign Student Factor,” based on percentage of international students in its student body. This achievement sheds light on OBU’s interest and heart for international students and the inclusiveness of a global culture.

OBU also ranked fifth in the Western region on the “2019 Best Colleges for Veterans.” This award is given to schools who provide adequate amounts of attention and gratitude to military veterans and active-duty service members by providing benefits to help them pursue a college education at a realistic and affordable price.

OBU also ranked as the only Oklahoma school and one of only two schools in the Western region recognized to have “A Strong Commitment to Undergraduate Teaching.” This award commends professors on their strong commitment to undergraduate teaching. U.S. News surveyed administrators at the regional universities and colleges about peer institutions within their regions. The colleges and universities listed were cited most often by college presidents, provosts and admissions deans who were asked to identify up to 15 schools (up from 10 previously) in their U.S. News ranking category with a strong commitment to undergraduate teaching. Schools needed seven or more votes to appear in the best undergraduate teaching rankings.

OBU ranked 14th best in the 15-state Western region for having the lowest debt load at graduation.

OBU ranked ninth for the “Best Value Schools” in the West. This scoring is based off of the amount of scholarship money offered by the school, percentage of scholarships and grants used, and overall value of school based off of its price.

According to information provided by U.S. News, their annual rankings system rests on two pillars. It relies on quantitative measures which education experts have proposed as reliable indicators of academic quality, and on the magazine’s nonpartisan view of “what matters in education.” First, schools are categorized by mission, which is derived from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The Carnegie classification has been the basis of the Best Colleges ranking since U.S. News’s first publication three decades ago.

The rankings formula uses exclusively statistical quantitative and qualitative measures that education experts have proposed as reliable indicators of academic quality. To calculate the overall rank for each school within each category, up to 16 metrics of academic excellence are assigned weights that reflect U.S. News' researched judgment about how much they matter. The Best Colleges package then examines how schools compare by weighing many factors, including outcomes (35 percent), faculty resources (20 percent), expert opinion (20 percent), financial resources (10 percent), student excellence (10 percent), and alumni giving (5 percent).